Super Bowl Sunday: The battle for eyeballs and wallets is on. How will RIM and BlackBerry 10 hold up?

First off, a confession: I’m not a huge football fan. Being Canadian however, I love to both play and watch hockey. So on some level, I do understand the primal urge to sit around the big screen, partaking in a shared social experience, beer in hand, tossing back munchies and cheering for the favored team. And that is exactly what millions of football fans will be doing next Sunday afternoon, as the sports premiere annual event, the Super Bowl, takes place.

It could be argued however, that increasingly the Super Bowl is less about football, and more about the half time show, and the advertising that runs during the big game. With an average of $3.7 million per 30 second spot being spent this year, the battle for eye balls, and the wallet that accompanies them, has hit a high mark. The usual suspects such as Pepsi, Coke, Bud Light, Century 21, Go Daddy, Audi, Toyota, Axe, and Volkswagon, all big national brands, have returned. See a sneak preview of some of them here:

But it is the premiere appearance of RIM and the launch of the BlackBerry 10 that has caught my attention. The 30-second spot was created by London-based creative agency AMV BBDO.

“A Super Bowl commercial is a great opportunity to show the redesigned, re-engineered and reinvented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year,” RIM CMO Frank Boulben said in a statement.

Of course, like most Super Bowl spots, a social-media campaign is slated to run alongside the commercial using Twitter and Facebook throughout the game. Selective leaks on Youtube pre-game are likely.  And they can count on an even larger audience realized through Youtube and social media as winning creative gets viewed again and again, and both discussed and shared online after the game. Or let’s hope, for the sake of our good old Canadian home team company RIM, that that is what actually happens. RIM risks having come to the party about a year late with their Black Berry 10, having lost customers to Apple and Samsung, as business and their IT departments (RIM’s traditional core market) increasingly have allowed employees to bring their own devices to work. This is a big stakes play for RIM on the world’s largest advertising stage. Let the circus (or should I say game?) begin!

Update: January 30th – news coverage of the release:

Mary Charleson

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